Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Framework 1 Monash Mt Eliza Business School

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1 Two Extreme Frameworks for Change

i. Evolutionary or Strategic Staircase, ie change is on-going, continuous and occurs in small or incremental steps

- Ideally, introduce incremental changes without unsettling the organisational values and traditions. These small changes can be part of the larger plan

- In theory, this change should be easy (unless the small changes are not made and eventually a large one is needed) but complacency can be a problem.

ii. Revolutionary, ie change involves a long period of comparative calm followed by short periods of intense change

- Usually occurs when the organisation has no choice, ie "do or die". The gap between current capabilities and those required is very significant and/or time is short for the change to become effective.

- Usually an organisation resists change (including the response of "work the same way but harder and longer"), and a series of events needs to occur that makes the organisation aware of the prudence of transforming, eg a crisis which is poorly dealt with

2 Steps Needed for Effective Change

There must be commitment (action and words) at the top for major strategic change to occur

Ideally there must be consensus about the change; sometimes, if time is short, a dictatorial approach may be necessary

There must be a great deal of talk and involvement ie give people ownership

Strategic change requires individual behavioural change, ie operation, activities, functions, organisation and responsibilities

Strategic change is about attention to detail and actions, ie locate the points of resistance

Change requires a holistic approach - it is not sufficient to act in isolated parts of the organisation or adopt a piecemeal approach

Many small-scale changes should be made rather than one grand one - this allows for flexibility to handle the unexpected and for incidental learning along the way

Change takes more time than expected - owing to unexpected events and cultural resistance to change

(source: Graham Hubbard et al, 1996)

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